Here’s your ticket to revisit the freedom of riding around the neighborhood without the sore back, neck, and shoulders that a traditional bike can give you. The Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle is a super stable three wheeled bike featuring a strong steel frame and a low step-through design which makes it easy to get on and off the trike. Overall this is one of our top adult tricycles choices, particularly if you need an option that will fold down to fit more easily into a car.
Are you on the verge of giving up trying to ride a bike since maintaining balance is just not your thing? This is the same reason a lot of people who have problems dealing with just two wheels prefer adult tricycles. In addition to easier riding, an adult tricycle is way better at carrying groceries or transporting other cargo. We’ve even seen our local pizza delivery guy using a tricycle to make some deliveries in nicer weather!
Even if you don’t have problems with balance and don’t need to transport groceries or gear around, a tricycle could still offer some serious advantages in terms of comfort. A traditional bicycle has you hunched over the handlebars, while a trike allows you to sit upright without the need to balance. If you’ve got a bad back, this can be a game changer.
Finally, the Mantis folding trike is, well, foldable. If you need to transport your trike in a vehicle to get to where you ride, then the Mantis is your best option.
One of the more notable features on Mantis that you don’t find standard on many other adult tricycles is the front suspension fork. This helps cushion the trike while riding, particularly over gravel, or roads that have bumps or small potholes in them. Because of this, the ride on the Mantis was a lot smoother than you might expect from the smaller-than-normal 20-inch wheels. Of course, with most bikes and trikes you can install a front suspension fork if you choose to, but that will definitely cost a bit extra and require some real installation expertise. The fact that the Mantis comes with it included is quite nice for those who are planning to use their tricycle on bumpier ground. That said, we still wouldn’t consider this an “off-road” trike by any means. The suspension fork is really great for smoothing out bumps in pavement, not for going over boulders.
The 20-inch wheels of the Mantis give it less bulk than other models, and are also perfect for smaller riders who find bigger wheels too large for them. It presents a low step-through frame that matches its size, allowing you to mount and dismount the bike pretty easily. Despite its smaller size, it is built with a strong and reliable steel frame for safety, and has a linear pull front brake for quick stopping.
The frame can be folded, making storage of the tricycle easier and allowing you to bring it along on trips if you have a larger vehicle. It still won’t fit in a standard sized sedan, but should be fine in most SUVs.
There is also a medium sized cargo basket in the rear capable of carrying up to 40 pounds. This is ideal for groceries, a backpack, or even a small dog that likes to ride along with you.
The Mantis tricycle is also comfortable with an extra-wide, padded seat and upright handlebars which can be adjusted to get a comfortable height. This is especially important if you have back or neck problems and don’t want to be hunched over or have to put strain on your joints to keep your hands on the handles.
Things to Watch out for with the Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle
The first thing that comes up with the Mantis Tricycle is the fact that it has 20-inch wheels which are significantly smaller than the 26-inch wheels you typically find on adult tricycles. This comes with some advantages and some disadvantages.
Advantages of Smaller Wheels
The most obvious advantage is size. The 20-inch wheels are easier to fit into a car if you need to transport the trike to your favored riding location, and they are easier to store if you have limited garage space to keep your trike. This fits with the premise of the Mantis as a folding tricycle. It’s really ideal for people who need to get their trike to fit into a smaller space.
The other advantage of the smaller wheels and compressed wheel base is a tighter turn radius. When compared to some of its roomier 26-inch wheel counterparts, the Mantis can literally ride circles around them. Whether this is something you need or not, depends on your uses. If you’re out on a road or wide bike trail and just cruising in mostly straight lines with occasional easy turns, then this won’t matter too much. On the other hand, if your trike is on a tighter trail, or on sidewalks where you need to turn 90-degree corners, the turn radius of the Mantis and its 20-inch wheels can make a huge difference. Seriously, with some of the 26-inch wheel trikes, taking a 90-degree turn requires some forethought. With the Mantis, you can just turn.
Disadvantages of Smaller Wheels
The disadvantage of the 20-inch wheels is that they are not as smooth or robust. If you’re on uneven terrain, the 20-inch wheels aren’t going to absorb shocks as well as the larger 26-inch wheels. Mantis has tried to offset some of this by including the front suspension fork, but you’ll still notice the smaller wheels feel each bump a little bit more than the larger wheels might.
The other disadvantage you’ll run into with these smaller wheels is that they are not quite as common as 24-inch or 26-inch wheels. That will make finding replacement tubes and tires a bit trickier than with more common sizes. With the internet, that isn’t such a big deal these days, but you might have to wait a week for the replacement parts to arrive with the 20-inch wheels, while with the 26-inch you could walk into any bike shop and they’re almost certain to have the part you need right there.
Pros of Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Tricycle
- All of the Mantis’ solid design features make the adult folding tricycle a comfortable, sturdy, and safe vehicle.
- Durable steel frame with convenient folding capability that saves space for storage and transport.
- Spring-loaded, padded seat cushion.
- Adjustable high preferences for both the seat and handlebars.
- Cargo basket with 40 pound carrying capacity.
- Front suspension fork included
- Three colors to choose from (as of this writing): metallic blue, silver, and burgundy
Cons of the Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Tricycle
- Single speed model can be difficult on hilly terrain and requires pretty hard pedaling to get up hills.
- Steeper learning curve than some of the more beginner-friendly adult trikes like the Schwinn Meridian.
Any new rider, young or old, will get the hang of tricycling quite quickly, and we think most riders will be delighted with the smooth ride and easy storage available with the Mantis Tricycle. The carrying capacity and suspension fork make this a good choice for running quick errands while getting some exercise at the same time.